Commercial Driver DWIs in New Jersey

truckNew Jersey has always had tough laws for those who get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol. For commercial drivers, the stakes can be even higher. If you are a commercial driver or know a commercial driver who has been arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI), you need to reach out to a seasoned New Jersey DWI attorney without delay. Whether you are a repeat offense or it is your first offense, we can help. We know how seriously a DWI can interfere with a commercial driver’s life, which is why we will advocate for you at every step of the way.

Truck drivers and bus drivers in New Jersey must obtain their Commercial Driver License (CDL). First, however, they must get their regular driver license. There are different CDL classes depending on the type of commercial vehicle you will be driving. It is important to note that taxi drivers carrying fewer than eight passengers and ride-sharing van drivers do not need to obtain a CDL.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act, in conjunction with the New Jersey CDL Act, prohibit commercial drivers from getting behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.04 percent or higher. This is a much lower amount than the 0.08 percent that applies to ordinary drivers. The law applies to vehicles such as:

  • Buses, including passenger buses and school buses;
  • Trucks carrying dangerous materials; and
  • Motor vehicles weighing 26,001 pounds or more.

If convicted for a first offense, the commercial driver will lose his or her commercial driver’s license for a period of one year, which can have a life-changing ability on the person’s ability to earn a living. In addition, the driver would face a three-month basic driver’s license suspension, monetary fines, the completion of an Intoxicated Driving Program course, and up to 30 days in jail. In New Jersey, being convicted of a refusal to submit to a breath test also carries a mandatory CDL suspension. These penalties are much harsher if the first-offense DWI was for a BAC of 0.10 percent or higher. And of course, the penalties become more severe with each offense.

If you are a commercial driver who was previously convicted for a DWI in a different state, that could affect your DWI case in New Jersey. If the conviction for DWI or Refusal appears on your driver history, as long as the conviction is based on laws similar to New Jersey’s, those convictions will be considered prior offenses that will likely enhance your sentence.

Commercial drivers rely on their CDL for their livelihood, which is why a DWI can truly devastate their lives. If you are a commercial driver who has been charged with a DWI, it is imperative for you to consult a hard-working and knowledgeable New Jersey DWI attorney. At our firm, we understand what is at stake, which is why we are dedicated to building the strongest defense possible in your case. You can rest assured that we will explore all of your legal rights and options. To speak to us directly, call us at 877-450-8301 or reach out to us online.

More Blog Posts:

Vehicular Homicide and Drunk Driving in New Jersey

Riding a Motorcycle Under the Influence of Alcohol in New Jersey